Last updated: September 6, 2020

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Since the invention of television in the 1920s, the evolution of the small screen has been nothing short of amazing. What were once called idiot boxes have now become smart, Internet-connected, feature-rich TVs.

Besides, today’s screens are constantly getting bigger, can be either flat or curved, and offer image quality that was absolutely undreamed-of just a few years ago. All these factors contribute to the incredible popularity of television almost a century after its creation. In fact, much of the American families’ entertainment continues to revolve around this apparatus.

Key Facts

  • Today’s smart TVs can connect to the Internet, allowing you to enjoy a multitude of applications and on-demand content. Indeed, they have become real entertainment platforms.
  • The two types of panels that currently dominate the market are LED-backlit LCDs and OLEDs. Also, the South Korean giant Samsung has developed its very own QLED panel.
  • There are various criteria that you need to evaluate before you purchase your next TV, such as the screen size and image resolution. In addition, you should take into account the size of the room in which you want to set it, not to mention the importance of the High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology.

Our Selection: The Best TVs on the U.S. Market

There are so many options on the American market right now that you can easily be overwhelmed. This is why we have selected some of the most popular models currently available out there. We have included different products tailored to distinct user profiles, all offering great value for money. Have a look in the section below, and you might just find the right TV for you!

Best-Selling TV

Toshiba is a reputable manufacturer of electronic equipment, and its 32-inch smart LED TV is a high-quality, all-round model that has satisfied thousands of past customers. Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is built in so you can control your device by voice commands, and a multitude of apps are available to you. This HD Fire TV Edition model features three HDMI ports and one USB port, among others. 1-year limited warranty included.

Best 4K TV

TCL is another popular brand in the industry, and this 4K television has actually become Amazon’s Choice in the category. With a generous size of 50 inches and integrating the Roku TV system, it’s a model that offers incredible value for money. Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, it combines HDR technology and 4K resolution for crisp images. This model also includes three 2.0 HDMI ports for enhanced connectivity.

Best Large-Screen TV

Samsung needs no introduction, and its 7 Series smart TV is certainly worth knowing – and buying. With a 65-inch screen and 4K resolution, it is best suited for large rooms where you can truly enjoy its quality. Compatible with HDR10+ and integrating the brand’s very own AI program Universal Guide, this TV brings the very best of entertainment to your home. It also comes with a wide range of connectivity options.

Best TV for Small Spaces

If you’re looking for a Full HD TV for a small bedroom, a student dorm, or your RV, this model by LG is an excellent option. The quality display brings you 1080p resolution so you can enjoy all your favorite shows and movies. Connectivity-wise, you can make the most of your devices with one HDMI and one USB port. If this model doesn’t offer Wi-Fi compatibility, it’s the most affordable in our selection and a quality product nonetheless.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About TVs

As you can see, there is now an incredible number of manufacturers and TV models on the market. This is why it is essential that you become more familiar with these devices, as well as their characteristics and features. We want you to have all the right tools to make a successful purchase. In the next section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding TVs.

family watching television together

Much of the American families’ entertainment continues to revolve around the television.
(Source: Rawpixel: 97155443/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages of today’s smart TVs?

Considering their superb performance, modern smart TVs offer a great number of benefits. We have summarized the most popular ones in the list below:

  • They allow you to enjoy a multitude of applications.
  • You can connect to the Internet and play content directly from your network.
  • You can view on-demand TV channels and platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and Sky, among others.
  • These true entertainment platforms also allow you to watch videos on YouTube and play your favorite video games.
  • You can connect them to other devices, like cell phones, computers, and tablets.
  • They offer fantastic image quality thanks to technologies like HDR.
  • In addition, the built-in processors improve the image quality considerably.

What resolution and screen size are the most convenient?

There are currently different recommendations regarding the relationship between screen size and image resolution of these devices. One of the most widely accepted is the one provided by the New York-based SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). Their advice is undoubtedly valued in the industry.

For TVs with HD resolutions, the SMPTE recommends that the minimum viewing distance be at least twice the width of the screen, while the maximum distance should not exceed five times the width of the screen. For UHD or 4K resolution models, you must divide these distances in half.

a tv on a modern living room

Not all brands integrate the same operating system in their smart TVs. Some have developed their own interface, while others prefer to use Android TV.
(Source: Keawmorakot: 113422700/ 123rf.com)

What operating system do smart TV use?

Not all manufacturers integrate the same operating system in their smart TV. Some prefer to create their own interface, while others stick to the popular Android TV. Brands that have developed their operating system include Samsung with Tizen, LG with WebOS, or Panasonic with Firefox OS. Other companies, such as Philips, HiSense, TCL, Xiaomi, or LeEco, use Android TV in their models.

Flat or curved screen: which is better?

When the first curved-screen TVs appeared on the market, their goal was to offer a much more immersive viewing experience. While this is mostly the case, the world isn’t a perfect place, and you can only enjoy its alleged benefits under optimal conditions. This includes, for instance, having a large enough room.

You should also sit at the center of the screen and have the right lighting conditions. This is why the advantages curved screens bring don’t necessarily outweigh their higher cost. In fact, there has been a decrease in the number of new curved models launched by manufacturers. We recommend you opt for a flat screen unless you are ready to create the ideal conditions.

What is the near future of TV?

There is no doubt that the television sector is one of the most dynamic in the technology industry. New products are coming soon on the market, such as MicroLEDs, MiniLEDs, and dual-panel systems. Introduced by Samsung, the former promise much larger TV screens.

MiniLEDs are presented as a future lighting system for LCD panels. Last but not least, the possibility of having two overlapping panels is close to being in the books. One will be black and white with a lower resolution, while the other will offer color 4K resolution. This will create images with higher contrast. In addition, 8K televisions are already available on the market, as is the long-awaited HDMI 2.1 connector.

Buyer’s Guide

The size of the screen isn’t the only important factor to consider when you buy a new TV. In a market with such a wide variety of manufacturers and models available, mastering the key shopping criteria is essential to making a successful purchase. We want to help you get it right, so we have detailed the most important aspects that you should take into account.

Viewed Content

The very first thing you should think about when you’re looking for a TV is the content that you want to view with it. If you don’t plan on watching much UHD content, a model with a 4K resolution or higher isn’t necessarily. In addition, you will prefer a TV with low latency if you are an avid gamer.

Woman Sitting On Sofa Using Remote Control

OLED panels offer purer, more realistic blacks, with better contrast and a wider color range.
(Source: Popov: 92388992/ 123rf.com)

Type of Panel

As we mentioned earlier, LED-backlit LCDs and OLEDs are the two most popular types on the market, although Samsung’s QLEDs are also on the rise. OLED panels offer purer, more realistic blacks, with better contrast and a more comprehensive color range. Their main drawbacks are that they are less affordable and suffer from what is called image retention or burn-in.

This is why they are not the most popular option for playing video games or for using as monitors. If you like to watch series and movies, on the other hand, they will be the best choice you can make. LED-backlit LCD panels are an excellent alternative if you use your TV intensively, to play video games, and to use as a computer monitor.

Image Resolution

When it comes to this criterion, you have two main options at your disposal: Full HD and 4K. Your choice will largely depend on the size of the screen and the dimensions of the room. You also have to keep in mind that Full HD TVs will most likely become less common on the market in the coming years.

This is quite logical, considering that more and more content is being produced in 4K resolution. Besides, the price of 4K televisions has been decreasing steadily over the last years. If you like to be ready for the future, you should definitely opt for UHD. You may want to hold back on purchasing an 8K model for now, as their price is still prohibitive.

The impact of HDR technology on image quality is incredible, both in films and video games.
(Source: Jessmine: 73048207/ 123rf.com)

Screen Size

Two major factors will play a role in defining the screen size of the TV you want to purchase. On the one hand, the bigger the screen is, the more expensive the model will be. On the other, you will have to take into account the space available in the room where you want to set up your new TV.

Either way, don’t forget that the number of inches indicated refers to the diagonal length of the device. In most cases, the manufacturers offer various screen size options for the same model. If you’re wondering at which distance you should place your TV based on its size and the image resolution, we have designed the following table to help you:

Screen size Optimal distance (Full HD) Optimal distance (4K)
32″ 4 to 6.5 feet 3 to 4.5 feet
40″ 5 to 8 feet 3.5 to 5.5 feet
46″ 5.5 to 9.5 feet 4 to 6.5 feet
50″ 6 to 10 feet 4 to 7 feet
55″ 6.5 to 11.5 feet 4.5 to 8 feet
60″ 7.5 to 12.5 feet 5.5 to 8.5 feet
65″ 8 to 13.5 feet 5.5 to 9.5 feet
70″ 8.5 to 14.5 feet 6 to 10 feet
75″ 8.8 to 15.5 feet 6.5 to 10.5 feet

HDR

The impact of HDR technology on image quality is incredible, both in films and video games. This is why it is almost essential that you opt for a TV that integrates it. Regarding the different HDR standards available, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision are the two most commonly used. The first one is an open standard, which has pushed many manufacturers to choose it.

In any case, an HDR model will allow you to enjoy much more realistic images with a higher level of detail and brighter blacks and whites. We also recommend that you purchase a TV compatible with as many standards as possible. Otherwise, HDR10+ should be your go-to option.

Processor

Image quality doesn’t solely depend on the type of panel; image processing is also a fundamental part of it. In that regard, you may want to pay attention to the kind of processor built into the TV you want to buy. The Japanese giant Sony, for instance, bets on the X1 Extreme 4K HDR chip that can boost lower-quality content.

LG, on the other hand, has the Alpha processors. The Alpha 9 model is capable of processing data of up to 14 bits. Phillips relies on the P5 chip for 17-bit processing. The South Korean company Samsung integrates 8K and 4K Quantum processors in its models.

Woman Watching Television With Colorful Applications On Screen

Smart TVs allow you to enjoy a multitude of applications.
(Source: Popov: 94027335/ 123rf.com)

Connectivity

Regarding this criterion, you should think about your Internet connection options and your TV’s connectivity to other devices. In the case of the former, you can set up a connection via Wi-Fi or using an Ethernet cable. Wired networks guarantee a much faster, more stable, and more secure connection. The wireless option, on the other hand, is much more comfortable.

If you want to connect your TV to other electronic equipment, it is essential to have HDMI ports. In theory, the 1.4 version should be sufficient; however, compatibility with the 2.0a version will make your life much easier. You may also be interested in having a couple of USB port, while Bluetooth connectivity is always handy.

Summary

Purchasing a new TV is an important decision that involves a significant financial investment on your part. Besides, most people don’t change models every other year. Nowadays, modern smart TVs are constantly offering more and better features, with spectacular image quality for you to enjoy. In fact, a new era is beginning with the arrival of the first 8K screens on the market.

Given this array of options, it is essential that you have as much information as possible to make the right decision. Remember to base your choice of screen size and resolution on the dimensions of the room in which you want to set up the device. You shouldn’t overlook factors such as the type of panel and the connectivity options, either.

We hope that you found our shopping guide on TVs helpful and informative. We’d love to hear your opinion, so don’t forget to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media so that your friends and family find the perfect model for their homes!

(Source of featured image: Jessmine: 66133402/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Jaiden Sattlemeyr Cameraman & Tech Nerd
After a lot of work and studying, Jaiden has achieved his dream of building his own home cinema. Through his profession as a cameraman, he knows his way around technology very well. Meanwhile he regularly gives advice to his friends and family and writes about his technical hobby.